BBC – looking the wrong way yet again

BBC – looking the wrong way yet again
by Chris Saltrese

On Sunday 6th October I went along to the BBC studios in Salford to take part in a BBC Radio 5 Live programme discussing the rise in the number of allegations of historical sexual abuse post-Savile. Or the “post-Savile spike” as it was rather gruesomely described.

There was a great story to be told here, or so I thought. A story of police and prosecutors, of charities and charlatans (aka personal injury lawyers) whose individual and collective moral blindness has contributed to the greatest series of miscarriages of justice in the history of the criminal justice system in this country; where hundreds (if not thousands) of innocent men have been sent to prison for vile crimes which they have not committed (for more on this see the works of the late, great Richard Webster

But, as is customary these days, the BBC fluffed its lines. It failed completely to get to grips with the real story behind the epidemic of historical abuse allegations and instead of giving listeners a Sunday morning treat it dished up the thinnest of gruels: a dismal pot pourri of pre-recorded propaganda from the usual suspects; the nice policeman saying how terribly difficult it is to investigate and prosecute theses cases (nonsense, there is no investigation required and they are a piece of cake to prosecute); the nice man from the NSPCC bleating on about the usual stuff they bleat on about (I cannot recall a word he said); and the anonymous “victim” who had the great misfortune to be abused by two choirmasters, had then gone on to join the police and had managed to unburden himself only after a course of therapy (no comment necessary).

And then there was me, an afterthought, no doubt drafted in to maintain the BBC’s love of “balance”; given a minute’s airtime to state my case only to be told by presenter AdrianGoldberg that I am in it for the money before being ushered out of the studio by the gofer. I now know how Nigel Farage must feel, the poor chap.

Had I been extended the courtesy of five minutes on the subject here’s what I would have said.

The increase in historical allegations post-Savile has very little, if anything, to do with brave “victims” summoning up the courage to report their abusers. Rather it has everything to do with complainants making false allegations (for whatever reason, but money often comes into it) safe in the belief that their stories will not be subjected to the slightest scrutiny by the police and the prosecuting authorities. For these complainants (and more especially their money-grubbing lawyers) have picked up clear signals that the police and the Crown Prosecution Service are on their side and that their allegations will be gratefully received and unquestioningly believed.

Nowhere is this signal stronger than in the Metropolitan Police’s infantile report on the Savile affair itself (Giving Victims a Voice). In its breathtaking disregard for both logic and common sense the report, co-authored by the NSPCC, assumes that because the allegations against Savile were made, the offences were committed. And it goes on to solemnly declare that 214 incidents of abuse have been “formally recorded” as crimes. Nowhere in the report is there mentioned the possibility that a single one of these allegations might be false. This is not so much a retreat from scepticism as a dereliction of duty.

Yet no one at the BBC or in the mainstream press (with the notable exception of Charles Moore at the Daily Telegraph) has dared to question the report’s methods or conclusions. Rather the BBC has responded by setting up its own expensive internal investigation, which has rubber-stamped the Met’s findings, and has devised its own scheme for compensating victims (seven grades of compo available if you’re interested); and all of this paid for by the licence fee, naturally.

We now live in a country in which, like the old Soviet Union, an unsupported allegation is enough to send a man to prison; where we rejoice in the hounding and prosecution of old men (and this is for the most part about men) for uncorroborated offences that, in some instances, are alleged to have taken place before the introduction of decimal coinage, before they put a man on the moon, before England won the World Cup, before the Beatles. That we have allowed this moral panic to so consume us is a national disgrace for which we should all hang our heads in shame. And yes, it is the handiwork of the police, the lawyers and the Courts, all of whom have the blood of the innocent on their hands. But the journalists must also take their share of the responsibility: for theirs is the sin of omission. And that applies particularly to the journalists at the BBC who, although best placed to get to the truth at the heart of the Savile affair, have, as Sunday’s lamentable effort so amply demonstrates, insisted on looking the other way and in so doing have helped to send others to a living hell.

Chris Saltrese
8 October 2013


  1. The cultural climate is MAN BAD, WOMAN GOOD. The privileging and empowerment of females (i.e.; the ability to draw income, status and compensation from male productivity without reciprocation) has come at a heavy burden to males, so the only way to attempt to rationalise this new exploitation is by demonising the real victims in the battle of the sexes.

  2. The BBC is not fit for purpose as far as I’m concerned. In my opinion they have a ‘line’ on many things and they stick to it.

    I would say it is often more interesting what they do NOT say than what they DO say. They are the masters of controlling the parameters of how a story should be dealt with and what the messages ought to be.

    They often treat anybody who is outside of this “narrative” as some swivel eyed loon or beneath all contempt. Some of their political correspondents are in my opinion some really nasty pieces of work and clearly have an agenda. I won’t name names, but they can barely hide their contempt.

    But I suppose I am very focussed on such things.

    For example, the BBC news or radio could do a half an hour slot about domestic abuse and not even mention that men are just as violently abused as women. They could do a show about the firearms in America without discussing who is actually doing these crimes and in fact propagandising by pushing the ideas that it is white hill-billies / ‘red necks’ going “yee-haaaa!” like Yosemite Sam.

    I sat though a 15 minute piece on ‘the one show’ the other week about the housing crisis (although there have been many others)…..and not once, either in the video piece or in the studio, was immigration even mentioned, nor was the malicious raising of housing markets to suit the chancellors, or the need to create debt from people paying higher prices and higher rents. How is this even possible?!!!

    I have listened to various radio shows where there actually isn’t even an opposing side present! I have listened to and viewed many items where the entire premise of the issue is never questioned at all, and the ‘liberal’ position taken as a given.

    The grooming scandal in Rotherham a few months ago had a whole raft of stories covering it on the BBC news sites and, I think it was reported in one of the national newspapers, that the BBC failed to mention Pakistanis, Muslims, or Asians in all but one of them. When they did cover it, it all largely became about social workers and the guy who refused to resign.

    When they have anybody on from the BNP or even UKIP, the knives are out straight away, insinuating all sort of things whether they are true or not – they just seem to want to plant ‘that’ line of thought and ‘grubbiness’ into their viewers or listeners from the outset.

    They do not tend to do this with the other parties. They give them soft treatment and more time to speak freely. (They do not tend to ask Labour politicians about when they are next planning to starve 7 Million people to death like their ideological bedfellows did to the Ukrainians, or what the Lib Dems plan to do with all the perverts in their party).

    They can find time to cover what some football coach might have once said to some player in the past, or have a budgie rescues Labrador type story, but they will not cover the massive protests going on against Monsanto or the riots we often tend to see in France.

    It is as though anything that may make people think outside of the media/state’s box is banished from being discussed or even acknowledged.

    I don’t trust the BBC at all. Once you see some of the tricks they get up to, you start to get paranoid about what else they are doing.

    For example, when they go out on the streets asking the “wider public” what they think (about UKIP, or immigration, or gay marriage, or whatever else you could possibly think of)……is it really a genuine proportion of views? Or are they picking out a small range of views that suit their parameters, then selectively balancing those one way to give an ‘overall’ impression / “consensus” to the viewer’s mind?

    When you get anybody like Peter Hitchens on a panel program like Question Time, they are always outnumbered by everybody else being mid-left or hard-left, including the hosts! They become the marginalised “fringe” opinion, and who viewing wants to side with that?! It is partly psychological manipulation in my view.

    But this is how it gets you……

  3. There’s no reason to have a “State Broadcaster” in the modern world. Indeed, this is potentially dangerous. It might have been useful and practical in the 1920s and the 1930s, but not now.
    Sean and I – mainly Sean to give him his due – have often published what should be done about this matter.

  4. We should be concentrating on all the very well-recognised and witnessed “Sex Offences Committed By The Defendant Before he Was Born”.

    There’s some other important stuff that people forget, about “Stars”, the sorts of things they think they’d like as a result of being what they have become, and the sorts of things that people that “follow” “Stars” then think that “Stars” would like to have.

    Sometimes even favours might genuinely flow from this sort of interaction. I wouldn’t care on here to put a figure on the percentage of “glittering movie careers” that have flowed from “interaction on the casting couch” (if it’s not like that, why do they need a couch then?) but I expect it is a measurable and rather visible “real” number.

    The BBC can’t have been immune.

  5. Thanks for posting this. I normally write a lot in the comments on this issue, but I am sort of exhausted. The ghastly Alison Saunders’s announcement of what amounts to a jihad against teenage lads with pictures of their girlfriends on their mobiles, with astonishing draconian prison sentences being touted about in the name of pure State legalist terrorism of the populace, has cast me into one of my Eyeorish depressions at the hopelessness of our national condition.

  6. Excellent piece, and spot on. As Sean so rightly says, the BBC should be closed down and all those who ‘work’ for it thrown on the streets – sans pension, etc. A vile, traitorous organisation.

Leave a Reply